Jul. 24, 2014, 4:28 PM| Comment!
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Jun. 9, 2014, 11:18 AM
- Scotiabank upgrades Banco Santander-Chile (BSAC +1.6%) to Outperform.
- Nomura upgrades Capital One (COF +1.4%) to Buy with $94 price target.
- Morgan Stanley upgrades Principal Financial Group (PFG +0.8%) to Equal Weight.
- KBW boosts its rating on SunTrust (STI +1.6%) to Outperform with $46 price target.
- KBW downgrades First NBC Bank Holding Company (NBCB -0.1%) to Market Perform.
May. 14, 2014, 1:18 PM
- In a search for yield, U.S. life insurers have significantly boosted issuance of Funding Agreement Note Issuance Program debt (FANIPs), says Moody's. Insurers use the FANIPs for funding, tilting the investing of the proceeds - given today's low-rate environment - in things like commercial mortgages, public corporate debt, and private placements.
- Popular pre-crisis and stagnant since, "these funding agreement instruments are showing signs of life," says Moody's analyst Rokhaya Cisse. This year through April, issuance is up by about 56% to $8.8B from the same year-ago period. Among the seven insurers which have issued the funding this year are MetLife (MET -1.7%), Principal Financial (PFG -1.4%), and Prudential (PRU -1.6%).
- While Moody's doesn't expect issuance to reach pre-crisis levels, the boosted level "is credit negative because they present liquidity and asset-liability management risks that can emerge during capital markets disruptions."
Apr. 25, 2014, 10:47 AM
- One stock working today is Principal Financial Group (PFG +3.8%) after reporting a 34% increase in operating earnings on 12% higher revenue in the first quarter, and boosting the quarterly dividend by 14% to $0.32 per share. Alongside the increased dividend is an authorization for up to $200M of buybacks - about 1.4% of the float at current prices.
- Other earnings highlights include a 90 basis point increase in the ROE to 13% and $72M of buybacks in Q1. Book value per share, excluding AOCI of $30.81 is up 6% from 2013's end.
- CFO Terry Lillis: "Our capital deployment strategy continues to be a clear differentiator and a priority as we further increase shareholder value."
- Previously: Principal Financial Group, Inc. beats by $0.14, beats on revenue
- Previously: Principal Financial Group Inc declares $0.32 dividend
Apr. 24, 2014, 5:52 PM| Comment!
Apr. 24, 2014, 4:24 PM| Comment!
Apr. 14, 2014, 7:25 AM
- Its hopes for higher interest rates dashed for the moment, the insurance sector hasn't escaped the recent market sell-off, but Raymond James is stepping in to buy the dip on a couple of names, upgrading Lincoln National (LNC) to Strong Buy and Principal Financial Group (PFG) to Outperform.
- On Friday, Principal Financial was boosted to Equal Weight from Underweight at Evercore.
Feb. 28, 2014, 12:38 PM
- "After conducting a deeper dive, we are now more confident in discounting the upside from future ROE improvement and more comfortable assuming the downside from emerging markets risk," says analyst Jeff Schuman, upping Principal Financial Group (PFG +3.1%) to Outperform with $56 price target. "We are increasing estimates and raising our price target to $56 from $54, which implies 29% total return, including dividends.”
Feb. 3, 2014, 4:27 PM| Comment!
Feb. 3, 2014, 4:01 PM| Comment!
Feb. 3, 2014, 12:10 AM
Feb. 2, 2014, 5:35 PM
Jan. 29, 2014, 12:59 PM
- Strong equity markets in Q4 should propel earnings for life insurers (set to start this week), writes Credit Suisse's Tom Gallagher, particularly those with variable annuity and asset management/retirement exposure. MetLife (MET -0.6%), Prudential (PRU -0.5%), and Lincoln National (LNC -1.1%), of course, have been busily trying to reduce exposure to variable annuities after nearly being brought down by them in the financial crisis.
- Deutshce's Yaron Kinar also strikes a bullish note, welcoming the big declines so far this year as a buying opportunity.
- Hartford (HIG -0.6%) is expected to post EPS of $0.90 vs. $0.54 a year earlier, and guidance should "be supportive" of his 2014 estimate of $3.62, says Gallagher, who rates the stock at Outperform.
- Principal Financial (PFG -0.9%) is expected to report $0.93 vs. $0.82 a year ago. Kinar expects a slowdown in buybacks to $23M. He rates the shares a Hold.
- Aflac (AFL +0.5%) is expected to post $1.39, down from $1.48 a year ago. Gallagher's numbers are higher, but he rates the shares only at Neutral.
- Capital returns at Ameriprise (AMP -0.6%) are estimated at $475M in Q4 - $375M in buybacks and $100M dividend - says Gallagher, rating the stock at Neutral.
- Prudential (PRU -0.5%) - rated at Outperform by Gallagher - should report $2.33 vs. $1.69 a year ago.
- MetLife (MET -0.6%) - rated a Buy by Kinar - may disappoint in the headline number thanks to a boosted share count due to the conversion of $1B in equity units. Investors hope to hear some clarity on buybacks, but shouldn't hold their breath until the insurer gets more guidance from the Fed.
- Gallagher rates AIG at Outperform though the insurer continues to suffer an underwriting loss - this creates opportunity, however, for a catalyst going forward from improvement in this trend.
Nov. 22, 2013, 8:10 AM| Comment!
Nov. 15, 2013, 12:32 PM
- Deutsche's Yaron Kinar may have downgraded Prudential (PRU -0.9%) this morning, but he's not bearish on the life insurance sector. The Pru move was about valuation and the company's relative lack of interest rate sensitivity.
- Those who stand to benefit more from higher rates had their price targets lifted: Buy-rated MetLife (MET +0.4%) is upped to $59 from $57 and Lincoln National to $56. Hold-rated Torchmark (TMK -0.5%), Unum (UNM -0.3%), and Principal Financial (PFG -0.1%) also had their targets raised.
- He notes current valuations imply about a 3% 10-year Treasury yield a year from now, but the taper could see the 10-year to 3.5% or higher, along with expectations from further increases.
- Related ETFs: KIE, IAK, KBWI, KBWP
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Principal Financial Group offers retirement services, insurance solutions and asset management services. It provides financial products and services through the financial services companies to businesses, individuals, and institutional clients.
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